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Exeter celebrates International Festival

This year's festival drew hundreds of students and community members eager to experience diverse cultures and tasty food.

Melanie Nelson
October 10, 2017
Exonians enjoy International Festival.

Exonians enjoyed the many booths with crafts and games set up in Elm Street Dining Hall. 

On Sunday, October 8, Elm Street Dining Hall was transformed into a United Nations of cuisine and cultural artifacts. Around the outer walls, students representing 22 different countries stood proudly behind tables decorated with the flags, factoids and relics of their homelands. Meanwhile, hardworking dining services employees scurried about, delivering giant platters of colorful sushi, assembling Korean barbecue sandwiches, and scooping aromatic curried chicken and rice.

This was International Festival, an annual event sponsored by Exeter’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). Intended to spread awareness about the Academy’s international student population, which this year numbers 92, International Festival is a highly anticipated occasion relished by the entire community. Case in point — all 300 “passports” printed for the gathering were handed out in less than two hours.

Entertainment, co-sponsored by OMA and the Academy’s Department of Theater and Dance, was provided by New Zealand Maori Cultural Group TūMANAKO’.

Says International Student Coordinator Jennifer Smith, “It is rewarding to facilitate an event that is not only fun, but educational. Several students thanked me for planning this festival and told me that they learned a lot. The best part is that they were learning from their peers!”